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May 20, 2005 04:34 PM

ISO reliable, portable hot plate: any caterers out there?

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This is a pretty unique request; thanks to those who are up to the challenge.

I've been put in charge of setting up a classroom laboratory for those who are looking to get into the home care profession. This means that within the confines of your typical office, I need to create working versions of your typical apartment bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

My biggest obstacle so far is that I need some kind of portable hot plate. I don't mean the little tiny square ones you used to heat up ramen water in college. I want one of those large two-burner ones used by travelling chefs for cooking demos, or by caterers. I have no idea how they're powered (propane? electricity?) or how much they cost. We're not high-budget, so if one of those things is more than a few hundred dollars I'll need a new plan.

At the very least, I need a hot plate that can bring a gallon of water to a rapid boil, or heat up a nonstick pan for a quick stir fry. We need to demonstrate healthy cooking, but we certainly don't need restaurant-strength BTUs.

Isn't this a fun project? It's so nice not to be doing "real" work for awhile. Shopping and posting on Chowhound: how long can this last?

All suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. I have a double hot plate that I've taken on the road with me. It's electric. Most of the gas ones I've seen are single, and you have the butane cannister replacement issue. You can check out "" for a less expensive model, or the option.


    3 Replies
    1. re: LT from LF

      That's exactly what I'm looking for! I found a few on Amazon, but they generally had terrible reviews. If you don't mind:

      -does it get pretty hot?
      -how long have you had it, and is it holding up?

      I assume the link you posted is of the model you have? $200 is right in our price range. Thank you so much!

      1. re: nooodles

        Actually, I found mine in a hardware store somewhere, and I don't think it's as high-powered as the one on the website. Mine has been adequate; I cook a lot at other people's houses and for charity events, so it's usually just a backup.

        I've bought a lot of items from, including my ice cream maker, portable convection oven (now, that's logged a lot of miles!), etc. and have been pleased with everything.

        Good luck!

        1. re: LT from LF

          The one I have is canned propane (or something similar, you can get refills at restaurant supply place). The unit itself was only about $30 (single burner) and you plug the canister in. I actually got it at Pathmark (supermarket) after Hurricane Gloria (if you're on Long Island you know what I mean, it's the reason LILCO had to change names!). Then we moved upstate and I had no stove for over a year, just that and a convection microwave, and I turned out some pretty fancy meals. The brand is Chefmate, I've seen caterers use it. The fuel costs about the same per case as the unit itself. Works great, I would never get rid of it, guess I have fear of another 2 weeks without power someday.

    2. Just wondering if you saw this thread from yesterday on the SF area board. Another option.